USMCA's rapid-response labor mechanism

The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) is noteworthy for its novel "facility-specific rapid response labor mechanism" (the Rapid Response Mechanism or Mechanism).

The Mechanism permits the United States or Mexico to request an expedited review by an independent panel of an alleged "Denial of Rights" of free association and collective bargaining at specific facilities in Mexico or the United States. It provides a new tool in U.S. and Mexican labor disputes and represents a new potential component of U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs). Unlike the labor rights provisions in previous U.S. FTAs, which focused on broader countrywide or industrywide labor practices, it is targeted at labor disputes involving specific U.S. and Mexican factories and work places.

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